In Vitro Fertilization in Women With Inflammatory Bowel Disease Is as Successful as in Women From the General Infertility Population

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2015 Sep;13(9):1641-6.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2015.03.016. Epub 2015 Mar 25.


Background & aims: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) affects women of reproductive age, so there are concerns about its effects on fertility. We investigated the success of in vitro fertilization (IVF) in patients with IBD compared with the general (non-IBD) IVF population.

Methods: We conducted a matched retrospective cohort study of female patients with IBD who underwent IVF from 1998 through 2011 at 2 tertiary care centers. Patients were matched 4:1 to those without IBD (controls). The primary outcome was the cumulative rate of live births after up to 6 cycles of IVF. Secondary outcomes included the proportion of patients who became pregnant and the rate of live births for each cycle.

Results: Forty-nine patients with Crohn's disease (CD), 71 patients with ulcerative colitis (UC), 1 patient with IBD-unclassified, and 470 controls underwent IVF during the study period. The cumulative rate of live births was 53% for controls, 69% for patients with UC (P = .08 compared with controls), and 57% for patients with CD (P = .87 compared with controls). The incidence of pregnancy after the first cycle of IVF was similar among controls (40.9%), patients with UC (49.3%; P = .18), and patients with CD (42.9%; P = .79). Similarly, the incidence of live births after the first cycle of IVF was similar among controls (30.2%), patients with UC (33.8%; P = .54), and patients with CD (30.6%; P = .95).

Conclusions: Based on a matched cohort study, infertile women with IBD achieve a rate of live births after IVF that is comparable with those of infertile women without IBD.

Keywords: Crohn's Disease; In Vitro Fertilization; Reproduction; Ulcerative Colitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro*
  • Humans
  • Infertility / complications*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / complications*
  • Pregnancy
  • Research Design
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome